More Than Paying Attention [#284 – 1-24-2019]
If you realize that your strength is in knowledge, which is your experience and the resiliency of consciousness, no one can affect you. Not even the Universe can diminish that one whit. … The smallest of your learning experiences should never be ignored. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Mystical Longings – January, 2011)
It isn’t enough to simply be aware, we need to ACT on our awareness, FLOW with what we KNOW.
Reflecting back on an event this week – one that could have been dangerous – I realized that along the way I’d been aware of some clues. But, not knowing their meaning, I didn’t recognize them as clues. More importantly, I didn’t act. I didn’t consider applying my curiosity to explore what they might indicate. I simply noticed and quickly moved to something else.
One evening last week as I was adding logs to a fire in the wood stove, a back draft created some smoke in the house. I didn’t give it much thought, and when I checked weather conditions later, I noticed there was a temperature inversion (the temp was rising after it had dipped lower) about the same time. So I attributed the experience to that, and checked in with an experienced friend who has 30 years of wood stove experience. She agreed that was the likely cause.
Then it happened again, a bit more smoke this time and a slow burning fire. Concerned, I called our local wood stove expert who installed my stove just after I bought the house. He shared that I was not the first call reporting this (whew! I’m not alone!) and that my good, dry wood was most likely absorbing moisture from the unusually high humidity this winter (did I mention we’ve had snow on the ground for several weeks now?). He suggested bringing wood indoors for a few days before burning and offered a couple other tips to try.
Using the wood that had been in the house the longest, I managed to get a decent fire going with only minimal smoke, but when I tried to rekindle it later, the smoke instantly came into the house rather than flowing up the chimney. I suspected something more than the wood was at play, and woke the next morning with the clear guidance ‘don’t try to build a fire … call the local chimney sweep’.
And, so I called. He was able to come the following morning. A trip to the roof to inspect the chimney revealed that it was clogged with creosote build-up. I was and am still baffled by how that happened AND, I’m now aware of a clue I missed along the way that indicated the build-up was occurring. Several times this winter, I noticed the absence of small black flecks which I’d seen in previous winters on the snowy ground under the chimney. But, I didn’t act on the awareness. I didn’t know that those flecks were telling me that creosote was burning off not building up, AND I didn’t consider exploring to find out what their absence might indicate. Where was my curiosity?
I’m grateful that the chimney is clean, and that the stove is again providing warmth and coziness to this cold, snowy winter. I’m grateful for the chimney sweep, his knowledge and willingness to tackle a high, steep, snowy roof on a cold, windy day. I’m grateful for the snow, the moisture so needed by the earth and the depth enough to don the snowshoes for a trek in the woods (and for a dog who loves to romp in the white beauty!).
And, I’m grateful for the learning! Not just about the stove itself and the clues it communicates, but for the clarity that it isn’t enough to simply be aware, I need to ACT on my awareness, to FLOW with what I KNOW! The gifts of life’s experience abound!